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在最富有的哈佛,最贫穷员工的挣扎

更新时间:2016-10-25 18:28:11 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Struggling to Serve at the Nation’s Richest University
在最富有的哈佛,最贫穷员工的挣扎

Cambridge, Mass. — I’ve been at Harvard University for 17 years, but I’ve never been in a classroom here. I’m a cook in the dining halls. I work in the cafeteria at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where every day I serve amazing students studying medicine, nutrition and child welfare, as well as the doctors and researchers who train them.

马萨诸塞州坎布里奇——我在哈佛大学待了17年,但从没去过学校的教室。我是食堂的一名厨师。我在陈曾熙公共卫生学院(Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)的自助食堂工作。在这里,我每天为学习医学、营养学和保育的优秀学生,以及培养他们的医生和研究人员服务。

While I’ve earned no college credits here, I’ve had a lesson in hypocrisy.

尽管没拿到学分,但我上了一堂关于伪善的课。

On my way to work each morning, I pass a building with the inscription: “The highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.” If Harvard believes this, why is the administration asking dining hall workers to pay even more for our health care even though some of us pay as much as $4,000 a year in premiums alone?

每天早上去上班的路上,我都会经过一栋建筑,上面刻着:“享受最高而能获致之健康标准,为人人基本权利之一。”如果哈佛认同这一点,那么管理部门为何要求食堂员工支付更多的医疗保健费用,即便我们中的部分人一年仅保险费就高达4000美元。

I serve the people who created Obamacare, people who treat epidemics and devise ways to make the world healthier and more humane. But I can’t afford the health care plan Harvard wants us to accept.

我为制定奥巴马医改(Obamacare)、治疗传染病、设法让世界更健康、更人性化的人服务。但我却承担不起哈佛要求我们接受的医保计划。

That’s why I have been on strike with 750 co-workers for more than two weeks. That’s why the other day, co-workers and I were arrested after we sat down in Harvard Square, blocking traffic, in an act of civil disobedience. And that’s why the medical school students, in their white coats, have been walking the picket line with us in solidarity.

这就是我和750名同事一起罢工两周有余的原因。这就是几天前,我和同事采取公民不服从的方式,坐在哈佛广场封堵交通后被捕的原因。这也是穿着白大褂的医学院学生与我们一起抗议的原因。

The co-pays alone can be a problem. When a doctor told me my daughter had failed a hearing test and might need surgery, I thought about what care I could do without. I recently skipped an appointment to have a spot on my lung checked for cancer to save on the co-pays.

单是自付费用都可能成问题。当医生告诉我,我女儿的听力检查不过关,可能需要做手术时,我就在考虑自己有什么护理是可以不做的。最近,为了省下自付费用,我没有如约去检查肺部的一个斑点是否是癌症。

Medical students analyzed Harvard’s proposal and found that the cost of premiums alone could eat up almost 10 percent of my income. And Harvard wants to increase our co-pays for every single doctor visit to $25, from $15, for primary care and to $100, from zero, for outpatient hospital care and some tests. Some costs would be reimbursed for lower-income workers, but out-of-pocket expenses would still be hard to meet.

医学院的学生分析了哈佛的建议,发现单保险费一项就可能花去我收入的几乎10%。此外,哈佛还想把我们每次去看医生的初级护理自付费用从15美元增加到25美元,把门诊护理和一些检查的自付费用从零增加到100美元。收入较低的员工可报销一些费用,但需现款支付的费用依然很难承担。

The students say that Harvard’s proposal is unaffordable for nearly all of us according to state government guidelines. If it goes through, I will keep avoiding the doctor to save that money for my kids’ co-pays. Any increase puts me at the breaking point.

学生们说,按照州政府的指导方针,哈佛的建议对我们几乎所有人来说都承担不起。如果获得通过,我将继续避免看医生,以便把钱省下来作为我孩子的自付费用。增加任何花费都会将我逼至崩溃的边缘。

Harvard is the richest university in the nation, with a $35 billion endowment. But I can’t live on what Harvard pays me. I take home between $430 and $480 a week, and this August, I fell behind on my $1,150 rent and lost my apartment. Now my two kids and I are staying with my mother in public housing, with all four of us sharing a single bedroom. I grew up in the projects and on welfare. I want my 8-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son to climb out of the cycle of poverty. But for most of my time at Harvard it’s been hard.

哈佛是全美最富有的大学,拥有350亿美元的捐款。但我却无法靠哈佛给我开的工资糊口。我每周拿回家的工资在430到480美元之间。今年8月,我因为拖欠1150美元的房租而失去了居住的那套公寓。现在,我带着两个孩子和我母亲一起挤在她的公屋里,四个人共用一间卧室。我是在公屋里靠着福利长大的。我希望八岁的女儿和两岁的儿子能够摆脱贫穷的循环。但在我在哈佛工作期间,大部分时候都很艰难。

The average dining hall worker makes $31,193 a year, higher than other cafeterias in the area, but it still doesn’t go far around Boston. That’s why we’re asking for an annual salary of $35,000 for some financial stability, particularly since most dining halls are open only during the school year. Right now I’m lucky to work in one of the few cafeterias that’s open all year.

食堂员工的年平均收入是31193美元,比该地区的其他食堂高,但在波士顿一带,这些钱依然不经花。这就是我们要求年薪3.5万美元以便在经济上获得一些稳定性的原因,特别是因为大部分食堂仅在学年期间开放。目前,我有幸是在少数几家全年开放的食堂工作。

I know that health care costs are going up everywhere, and I don’t have all the answers. But there must be some way not to shift costs onto Harvard’s poorest workers.

我知道每个地方的医疗保健成本都是水涨船高,对此我也没有万全的对策。但一定有办法不把这些成本转嫁到哈佛最穷的员工身上。

If good health is truly “one of the fundamental rights of every human being,” then shouldn’t that also apply to the human beings working in Harvard’s cafeterias?

如果身体健康真的是“人人基本权利之一”,那这项权利难道不应该也适用于在哈佛的食堂工作的人吗?

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